Monday, June 10, 2019

When the Reading Pickypants Takes a Break

There's sort of a surreal thing that happens when you read something that contains things you have snarled on lesser books for and yet you still like it. On the one hand it seems petty to quibble, if you liked something then you liked something. On the other hand I feel like people who know me, who have perhaps heard me rant about the lack of the bridge in "Braveheart" or my always ready discussion of the geography problems in "True Lies" are aware that there are some things I cannot get over. When I say all of this stuff is either wrong or unexplained but I liked it, I don't mean I found myself unable to enjoy it, I mean I enjoyed it and these things are still true. 
So here I am to talk about two different royal books. Rachel Hawkins Prince Charming - which takes place in a fake version of Scotland for reasons the text never fully explains. And Casey Mcquiston's Red, White, and Royal Blue which takes place primarily in DC and involves a Prince of England (just England, no apparent mention of the rest of the UK).
Now both books use single POV, so we are primarily in the head of the American so you could argue the lack of knowledge about the state of things is because Americans generally don't understand that England and the UK are not interchangeable terms. And yes, Hawkins says she did a ton of behind the scenes worldbuilding as to why in her book the Scotland royalty is separate and I have not yet read the sequel and maybe that info is there, but it is not in the first book. 
Also Red, White, and Royal Blue has the president's kids going for a jog around the Reflecting Pool which I found hilarious (I have no idea how the Secret Service handles jogging needs, but feel certain touristy areas are frowned upon) and also, I am not a person who jogs, but the Reflecting Pool is not that big and would seem to be incredibly tedious. 
So all of that is to say I enjoyed these books, I had fun, I laughed, and I basically treated both of them the same in my head, as if they took place in highly fictionalized versions of the places they claimed to take place in because yeah. 
Both involve fake relationships to cover things that would not be allowed, and both involve people dealing with family and public lives and how to find some semblance of who you want to be within  and outside of the public image. And while most of us are never going to be royalty or presidential children, those are pretty universal themes even if my life choices seem less likely to show up in a gossip magazine.